ILKLEY: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868.
"ILKLEY, a parish in the upper divisions of the wapentakes of Skyrack and Claro, West Riding county York, 5½ miles N.W. of Otley, its post town, and 14 N. of Bradford. It is situated on the river Wharfe, and near the Leeds and Thirsk railway, which has a station at Arthington. It contains the townships of Ilkley, Middleton, and Nesfield, and the hamlets of Planing Stone, Wheatley, and Langbar. Here was formerly the Roman station Alicana, with the camps of Counter Hill, Castleburgh, and Woofa. Many relics have been found, including an altar dedicated to Verbeia, the nymph of the river Wharf, which is preserved at the manor house. The parish, which is of large extent, comprises a considerable portion of high moorland, abounding in grouse. The remainder of the land is chiefly pasture and arable in good cultivation. From a rock called the Hanging Stones, is obtained a view over the surrounding country. Ilkley is famed from an early period for its medicinal spring of remarkably cold water, which, gushing from the rocky hills of Rumbalds Moor, attracts-many visitors during the summer season. The waters, though combining few chemical ingredients, are found to be powerfully efficacious in various diseases. There are two hydropathic establishments: one called Ilkley Wells House, capable of accommodating 100 persons, and situated between the village and the moor. In the grounds surrounding it are a gymnasium, bowling green, and Turkish baths. The other, called Ben Rhydding, is justly celebrated for its air and water baths. It was erected in 1848, at a cost of £30,000. It is surrounded by about 200 acres laid out for pleasure and exercise. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Ripon, value £126. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient stone structure, with a tower containing six bells. It has recently been restored, and in the interior is an E. window, an ancient font, clock, and register chest. There are brasses to the Heber and Watkinson families, bearing date 1650, and several monuments to the Middleton; one dated 1312, with the effigy in stone of Sir Adam de Middleton. In the churchyard are three ancient crosses. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists. The parochial charities produce £146 per annum, of which £77 goes to the support of a free school. There is also a Sunday-school. Peter Middleton, Esq., is lord of the manor."
"LANGBAR, a township in the parish of Ilkley, wapentake of Claro, West Riding county York, 8 miles E. of Skipton. It is situated on the river Wharfe, and is united with Nesfield to form a township There is a place of worship for Wesleyans."
"MIDDLETON, a township in the parish of Ilkley, upper division of the wapentake of Claro, West Riding county York, 2 miles N. of Ilkley, and 7 N.W. of Otley. It is situated on the river Wharfe, and includes a large portion of Middleton Moor. Attached to Middleton Lodge, the ancient seat of the Middletons, is a Roman Catholic chapel."
"NESFIELD WITH LANGBAR, a township in the parish of Ilkley, upper division of the wapentake of Claro, West Riding county York, 6 miles N. of Bingley, and 2½ N. by W. of Otley. It is situated on the northern bank of the river Wharfe, and is mostly the property of the Duke of Devonshire."
"RUMBALD'S MOOR, a hamlet in the parish of Ilkley, West Riding county York, 4 miles W. of Otley, near the river Wharfe and the Leeds and Thirsk railway."
"STOCKHILL, a village in the parish of Ilkley, West Riding county York, 7 miles N.W. of Otley. It is situated on the river Wharfe. It is in conjunction with the hamlet of Middleton to form a township."
"WHEATLEY, a hamlet in the parish of Ilkley, wapentakes of Upper Claro and Skyrack, West Riding county York, 5 miles N.E. of Keighley, near the river Wharfe."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2013